The Manager, Human Security in Conflict and Emergencies with the ActionAid Nigeria, Olugbenro Olajuyigbe has called on the Kogi state government to consolidate the annual budgets for the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
Olajuyigbe who made the call while donating 10 life jackets to the Agency at the weekend in Lokoja to assist staff during emergencies urged that the consolidated budget should be processed in such a way that access to it would be without any form of bureaucracy.
He stressed the need for the government to prioritise the operations of the agency saying: ‘‘Security of lives and property is a first-line charge globally and there should be a consolidated budget for it without bureaucracy.’’
“When the State Government gives teeth and tools to SEMA, it is invariably protecting the welfare and safety of the people”, he said.
The security expert commended the government for providing a befitting office for the Agency and urged it to go a step further in providing facilities to enable it perform optimally.
“The right equipments and wherewithal will enable to be pro-active, identify populations at risk, forestall disasters and where and when disasters occur, there should be rescue and palliative measures”, he said.
He commended SEMA staff for ‘‘being resilient in their humanitarian services,’’ saying they should not relent even with insufficient equipment.
Responding, the Executive Chairman of SEMA, Mrs Alice Ogedengbe said ActionAid and Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID) had been of tremendous assistance to the agency especially in emergency management.
– Joseph Amedu, Lokoja